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The first step to dealing with an aggressive cat is determining what type of aggression your cat is displaying and what’s causing it.
Territorial aggression is arguably the most common form of aggression seen in cats.
It’s instinctual for cats–making it difficult to prevent–although spaying/neutering your cat/s can help the situation.
Redirected aggression happens when a cat is angered by something like another animal outside of the window or a loud noise and their aggression is redirected to something or someone else.
This form of aggression can be avoided by identifying the cause and preventing your cat from seeing or hearing what provoked him/her to anger in the first place. If the aggression was redirected to another pet, separate the two and give them a chance to calm down. Once both cats have calmed down, bring the aggressive cat to the room where the incident occurred and offer treats. Make sure to close the blinds in case something out the window upset your cat. Once you’ve allowed the cat to explore the room, remove him/her from the room and do the same thing with the victim.
After both pets have spent some time in the room alone, bring them back into the room together with treats and toys.
Playful aggression is more common among kittens, although adult cats will display “aggression” while playing.
It may look like your cats are fighting, but they’re really just playing!
Don’t encourage rough play (biting and scratching) between you and your cat.
Fear-induced aggression is pretty self-explanatory: occasionally cats will attack or display aggression out of fear, and other times cats will choose the “flight” option (run and hide).
Preventing this form of aggression is quite simple: avoid exposing your cat to other animals or situations that may cause fear in your cat.
Cats–just like us humans–display aggression when in pain.
If you think your cat may be in pain, schedule an appointment with your vet to diagnose his/her problem as soon as possible.
No one knows for sure what causes cats to display aggression while being petted, although most believe that overstimulation (caused by excessive petting) upsets the cat.
This form of aggression can be avoided by limiting petting sessions with your cat.
Most cats will show their dominance over other cats by displaying aggression and marking their territory.
This form of aggression can’t be completely avoided, although you can start by not pairing two dominant cats with each other.
Idiopathic refers to any disease or condition–or in our case: aggression–that’s cause is unknown. This “form” of aggression is oftentimes directed towards humans and can result in violent attacks.
Aggression in cats can be tricky as there are many different forms and causes.
The first two things you should do for an aggressive cat are: schedule a wellness exam with your vet and separate the cat from your other pets and children.
You can install Feliway diffusers throughout your home or purchase Feliway spray to encourage calmness and peace.
“Aggression in Cats,” ASPCA,
“Feline Behavior Problems: Aggression,” Cornell Feline Health Center,
https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-behavior-problems-aggression#:~:text=When a cat is excited,another cat in the house.
“Not Random: “Redirected Aggression,” Feline Engineering, 3 April 2020,
https://felineengineering.com/blog/redirected-aggression-in-cats/#:~:text=Slowly bring the family back,things seem at all tense.
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